It's a stormy night at Blackmoor Girls' College, and several students are having a dispute. A group of girls - Cissy, Bo, and Liz, controlled by their bitchy ringleader, Donna - are trying to force another student, Patty, to "do business" with them. She refuses and storms out, warning that she's going to report them to Mr. Blackmoor himself. Patty heads to the kitchen for a cup of tea, where she's bothered by the friendly but too-talkative groundskeeper, Victor - she tells him to shut up, and again storms off. Alone in her room, Patty makes the call - as she sets up the appointment with Mr. Blackmoor, we're treated to extended POV footage of a sinister black glove reaching for her doorknob, then strangling her with a nylon stocking.
Kris and Bosley, undercover as a sexy new student and a stable groom (guess which is which?), arrive at a bus station to meet Victor. He soon arrives; Kris sees Cissy, Bo and Donna loading a big wooden crate into his van while he isn't looking. Victor returns a moment later, introduces himself, and drives them to the Blackmoor campus where he continues to hit on Kris. Meanwhile, Mr. Blackmoor informs Kelly and Sabrina (the new English and Art teachers, respectively) that a valuable emerald ring was reported missing from among Patty's possessions.
Later, Kelly observes Bo cheating on a test in her English class, and earns the girl's friendship by not calling her out in front of everyone. Next it's time for Art 101, where Professor Sabrina barely contains her glee in singling out Kris and forcing her to model for the class. Donna immediately makes a scene by going up to Kris to fix her hair, and "accidentally" cattily yanking it instead. After class, the Angels view the results - Donna has drawn an ugly portrait of Kris. Sabrina interprets this as a clue.
While out pantomiming barnyard duties, Bosley asks Victor about the big crate. He knows nothing about it, and when they go to check the van, the box is gone. Meanwhile, back in her room, Kris is interrupted from unpacking her suitcase when she receives a visit from her unfavorite artist, threatening that Kris will regret it if she doesn't keep her trap shut about the crate.
That night, the mean girls are having a secret pow wow in the barn, gathered round the box and sorting out its contents - booze and pills. Donna threatens and bullies the others into helping sell the stuff around campus.
Back in her room, Kris is still unpacking her suitcase (how many days later is this?) when Liz enters. They talk, Liz is impressed that Kris is above the mean girls' influence, and opens up a bit. A fuming Donna overhears their conversation from the hallway.
Kris enlists roommate Cissy's help to continue unpacking that suitcase, which is now fuller than ever. Casual conversation screeches to a halt when Kris mentions the box, and Cissy leaves in a huff. Kris spies the missing emerald ring on Cissy's bed, and phones in a report to Sabrina. While talking, Kris discovers a creepy clown doll stuffed full of stolen jewelry - the girl is definitely a klepto.
Someone (Donna) anonymously reports Bo for cheating. She suspects Kelly; after an "I care about you" talking-to, Bo goes to confront her next suspect, Liz. Kris later catches up to the other Angels, who are strolling almost arm-in-arm around the campus, and reports that she just saw Donna slap and threaten Liz.
That night, Sabrina and Kelly are again strolling gayly on the grounds, this time in robes and fuzzy slippers. A scream sends them running - the black gloves have just unsuccessfully tried to strangle Liz, who was asleep in bed. Angels and students rush into the room and find Liz unharmed, but unable to identify her would-be killer. Bo and Donna arrive late, and the Angels exchange suspicious looks.
The next day, Donna eavesdrops on Kris, Sabrina, and Bosley as they discuss the case - he's found the girls' booze/pill box hidden inside the barn. Donna pours gas around the barn, drops a match, and locks the door; trapped inside, the Angels' stunt doubles must climb to the top of the barn and break a window to escape. Suspicions are confirmed when they go to rescue the horses, and find that Donna has already moved her stallion to safety.
Meanwhile Kelly is with Victor, who for some reason reveals that he's the strangler, then subdues her via her secret weakness (holding her arm) and kidnaps her in his Jeep.
The girls make it back to the dorm and confront the students, reveal that they're detectives, and get all the girls to turn against their evil leader. Donna names Victor as the strangler, and Bo just saw Kelly in his Jeep heading over the hills! Immediately trusting that their episode-long suspects are being honest instead of sending them on a wild goose chase, Kris and Sabrina hop aboard a weird motorcycle / sidecar thing and race to Kelly's rescue.
Now destroyed, Donna tries to flee the campus, but Bosley blocks her car with his tractor. Captive Kelly pulls that trick everyone always tries where you switch some lever with your foot that makes the car/boat/plane stop instantly. Victor makes a run for it, but doesn't get far before Kris makes a flying leap off the motorcycle thing and tackles him.
Back at the office, Charlie rewards everyone with graduation caps and plane tickets to Acapulco.
CURIOSITIES• The Blackmoor campus was the same property used in Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd's 1973 TV movie, Satan's School for Girls.
• Wasn't Patty just the ideal murder victim? The killer took about three minutes to sneak up on her in slow motion, easily within her peripheral vision most of the time, and the girl was completely oblivious. Then as soon as the strangling began, she just made this one quiet little "gulk!" noise and was dead in one second. Why can't all murders be this easy?
• What's with the bizarre look Mr. Blackmoor gives Kris as she walks away from him?
• Bo literally could not have been more obvious about cheating on her test. How wasn't she thrown out of school ages ago?
• Jaclyn wedding ring alert.
• Sabrina looks to be holding a different Kris sketch than the one we're shown. The other semi-visible sketch on the table also looks like Kris. Why did they bother doing more than one if they weren't going to show us?
• That ugly blue mother-and-baby painting in Kris and Cissy's room is the one that used to hang on the wall in Jill's house (see Lady Killer and Angel Trap). Also, that little owl on top of Kris's fridge has migrated to the Blackmoor fridge.
• When Kris finds Patty's stolen ring, she hears Mr. Blackmoor's voice repeat in her head, even though she wasn't there to hear him mention the ring originally - only Kelly and Sabrina were in that scene.
• Was Cissy a missed suspect in Night of the Strangler? If you remember the creepy clown dolls from that episode, hers is a dead ringer! (Sorry, we weren't trying to be funny.)
• Why is Kris so appalled when Donna slaps Liz that she has to look away? Yes, it was mean, but c'mon. Also, the audio was doubled up so that Donna said "Don't you ever" twice in a row.
• Liz is reading a book called "Women's Madness: Misogyny or Mental Illness?" (In case you forgot it's a girls' school.)
• How was Victor planning to garrote-style strangle Liz with a nylon if she was laying on her back? You can't garrote someone from the front.
• Why do students have to form a bucket brigade to put out the fire in the barn? Doesn't this place have a garden hose?
• When Bosley blocks Donna in with the tractor, why does she act like she doesn't know he's a detective until he pulls the gun out? She knew earlier, that's why she set the barn on fire.
KRIS' SHOOTING ACCURACY
BAD GUYS BEAT DOWN
SHOTS FIRED BY ANGELS
DAYS TO SOLVE CASE
Without a doubt this is one of the most bizarre episodes in Angel fashion. A common theme is the belts-over-suits look which was never popular. Sabrina's bundled up in a turtleneck AND a collared shirt AND a Members Only jacket, plus an assortment of necklaces made of curtain tassels (plus one that we theorized must be an ID badge, until we realized she wears it in The Jade Trap and Angel in a Box, too).
However, the winning category is that of sleepwear. A startlingly weird Kris rolls out of bed in a tiny nightie, high heels and pigtails - which she apparently braided just to sleep in, as her hair was down all day, and the next day, too. Words cannot justice the sight of Sabrina shuffle-running across the grass in a robe and fuzzy bear slippers.
Finally, Kris and Sabrina are dressed very tastefully in the office wrap-up, while Kelly sticks out in a teal plastic jacket and purple plastic pants. Who was in charge of wardrobe this week??
Wardrobe Repeat Sabrina is sporting her scholarly tweed look again, seen in Angels on Vacation and Angels in the Stretch.
REQUIRED VIEWINGKate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd's 1973 movie Satan's School for Girls will increase your enjoyment of this episode by 400%. Close all those other browser tabs and watch this right now. Your boss will understand.
SCREEN TIME ANALYSIS
This one belongs to Kris, as Season 3 episodes tend to. Angel content none too high.
- HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODE HAS AT LEAST ONE ANGEL/BOSLEY IN IT 77%
The escape from a burning barn was interesting, though since there's never any doubt they'll live, we were more worried about the horses. Kris wins the action spotlight by leaping from her motorcycle sidecar, tackling the bad guy, and tossing off a one-liner with not a hair out of place.
VERY UNPOSITIVE DETECTIVE WORK
Is it just us, or does Charlie have a habit of giving out the biggest rewards for the cases they did the least work on? As usual, all they did was to stave off death long enough for the bad guy to confess and try to kidnap one of them. Their sum total of actual work done was Bosley accidentally finding that giant box full of drugs. "Good job hearing other characters tell you who the killer is, Angels. Enjoy your paid vacation to Acapulco!"
ALL SETUP, NO PAYOFF
Donna ended up being one of the biggest letdowns of the series! After all the bullying, slapping, hair-pulling and attempting to burn the Angels to death, we needed to see Donna get her comeuppance. We were all expecting something really good - at the bare minimum, maybe a bitch slap courtesy of Kris. Instead Bosley is left to quietly apprehend the evil ringleader on his own, in a scene that's even a cop-out itself - as soon as he pulls his gun out, Donna has nothing to say, and we simply cut to a different scene. Boo!
SELL THAT SCENE, DAVID
David Doyle deserves kudos for carrying yet another terrible gag in the office wrap-up scene. He comes about as close as one can come to wringing 30 seconds of actual humor out of being confounded by the tassel on a graduation cap. "Oh, Bosley."
Extra Credit: Watch as Cheryl and Jaclyn feign laughter, but Kate cannot bring herself to join.
Elissa Leeds: Klepto Cissy later played Bess Hemsdale (AKA amateur Sally Storm) in Catch a Falling Angel.
Allen Baron also directed The Mexican Connection, Angels at Sea, Circus of Terror, Unidentified Flying Angels, Angels Ahoy, Angels in Waiting, Love Boat Angels, Avenging Angel, Fallen Angel, One of Our Angels is Missing, and Homes $weet Homes.
Laurie Lakso (Ed's daughter) also helped write The Blue Angels, Angels on the Run, Avenging Angel, Angels on the Street, and The Prince and the Angel.
Kenny's Rating: I really enjoy this episode. It's Mean Girls meet Charlies Angels. Audrey Landers plays the bitch Donna in an all girls school. For me this is one of those eps I can watch over and over again. I like all the covers too, especially Kris' cover as a student and Kelly as the very understanding teacher. Since it's an all girls school, Bosley has to be more cautious with his cover as a maintenance man much like in Angels in Springtime. Sabrina sees through Donna in no time and doesn't waste her time letting her know. The take down at the end could of been better only because I wanted Kris to knock Donna out, not just for pulling her hair but because of the nasty person she is.
Brolly's Rating: Not the greatest story ever told but worth a watch. As it's an All-Girl's School, bitchiness plays a part in this episode. A cliche too tempting to pass over. In case you wondered, Audrey Landers portrays the uber-bitch. Even though I am always half-expecting Miss Landers to break into a rendition of Blue Bayou (thanks to her singing career back in the 80s), she plays her part convincingly - one wants to slap her throughout the episode. The strangler part of the episode is utterly forgettable. I've seldom been farther from the edge of my seat.
Anna's Rating: This is another one that's enjoyable out of sheer ridiculousness, and I didn't appreciate it nearly as much until I watched Kate and Cheryl (using that "and" loosely) in SSFG. My feelings for this episode are definitely damaged by some poor wardrobe selections. Seemed like this would have been a good excuse to put Cheryl in some teen-ish clothing, but everyone mainly dresses like the career-mom from some forgotten early 80's sitcom. Except for that pigtails/nightie thing. Wait, was that an attempt at teen wardrobe? Do/did teens/humans ever dress like that? Everyone talks about that box until you stop caring what's in it, and the strangling was really not given as much attention as murders usually are. It seemed to write itself into a corner and they didn't know how to wrap it up.
Greg's Rating: A Season 3 highlight. My guilty pleasure episode. It was only a matter of time before the Angels took on some bitchy spoiled co-eds and I'll take Bo, Cissy and Donna over Tiffany's banal sorority sisters (from Angels on Campus) any day. Audry Landers did a good job portraying sociopath Donna as counter-point to Kris's girl next door schtick. I love how Cissy and Bo were sympthetic villains, so of course this makes Kris and Kelly reach out to them... and Sabrina? Oh well. The 2 nice action sequences (the barn fire and motorcycle chase at the end) helped make up for some corny dialogue. Notice how the main plot (who is the strangler?) took a back seat to the subplot (co-eds smuggling drugs).
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